Jackie from Jiminy Peak was all smiles as Julie and I got our wristbands and prepared for the day's festivities. The parking lot was packed today so we knew that today's "Downhiller Hunting" expedition would yield trophies. One look at the lift line proved we were right.
The lift queue was rife with padded and armored quarry. Upon arrival we decided to head up lift B since that was where we expected some good game. We hiked down the trail and headed straight for Jump City. It wasn't long before the riders and the mosquitoes showed up. Julie and I planted ourselves at the base of a nice three foot or so drop and waited for some action. As usual, the down hillers didn't disappoint.
The day's action had a dubious start. Almost immediately after Julie and I were situated a rider named Ben came barreling through. He prepped for his jump off and sprung forth. He launched off a slab of rock that was about three feet off the ground, aptly landed the jump but clipped a bike that was leaning up against a tree and punched a meaty hole in his shin. It was either the teeth of his chainring or a rock that was did it but, Ben managed chewed up his leg pretty good.
Photographers Note: We have pictures of the gash but the editors are still on the fence as to whether they are too graphic to post fully or not. So Ben (or other readers) since it's your leg you deserve to see it, if you have a strong stomach email
firstname.lastname@example.org to see the unblurred copy.
While alpine sliding down the mountain to get Ben our first aid kit, we caught a few riders partaking of the beginner's downhill clinic. Noticing the obvious danger involved in this extreme version of cycling we were happy to see some instruction. The group was really stoked to be out on the trails. For many it was their first time riding downhill and they were tearing it up. When we got back up to Jump City I could see the longing in Julie's eyes and I knew she would rather be on a bike riding the trails than standing on the sidelines taking pictures. By that time our back-up photo crew had arrived so Julie and I decided to head back to the festival to see if we could demo some bikes ourselves.
One thing that has to be said about the riders we encountered today at Jiminy is that they are a really passionate about their sport and welcoming to "their" community. They brought us in for a look into their style without hesitation. And not once did a rider fly by with out letting out a "Hey what's up?" or "How you guys doing?". As we were leaving the skies opened up yet the downhillers couldn't be flushed from the trails.